04.01.11

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Microsoft-sponsored Distortion of News in the UK (Lerner Daemonises Free Software Along With Schankerman)

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft at 4:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Besieged by Microsoft-funded FUD

London

Summary: In order to derail government migration plans to Free/open source software (in the UK and elsewhere) Microsoft pays Lerner and a colleague from LSE, Schankerman, to echo Microsoft’s old FUD

FROM inside sources we know that local UK authorities explore the possibility of embracing more Free/open source software and in this week’s news we have articles such as:

  • Government unveils IT strategy, with open source at the fore

    The government has launched a strategy for cutting public spending on government ICT by “millions of pounds through cutting duplication and waste”, and promising much more use of open source software.

    The Government ICT Strategy, launched by minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude today sets out how government will “adopt the right methods, policies and skills to ensure that its ICT supports efficient public services”.

  • UK: Researchers say open source lowers costs, increases security

    The health care sector can lower its costs and increase the security of its IT systems, by making more use of open source, according to research by the University of Warwick’s Institute for Digital Healthcare and the Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education at UCL Medical School.

This jeopardises some Microsoft cash cows (Windows and Office), so the monopolist can be seen fighting back in the same old way, namely Microsoft-sponsored talking points which get pushed into the “news” with British/American academics receiving Microsoft money to do so. See this new example from Schankerman and a colleague. We wrote about it in [1, 2, 3, 4]. The article says: “Don’t believe everything you read about tech camps,” but it should also say “don’t believe everything you read in tech sites like us” because the source forgets to mention Microsoft’s money which was injected in this case. That’s how news and public opinion get bought, cheaply.

According to another alert from Europe, Microsoft is now organising a roundtable on ‘EU Spectrum Policy’:

We would like to remind you about the roundtable discussion on recent developments in spectrum policy and their impact on the ICT industry. The event will take place on Wednesday April 13th at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Centre, Avenue de Nerviens 85, 1040, Brussels. The event will start at 10:30 and will be followed by a walking lunch and a guided tour in our new Cloud and Interoperability Centre. The roundtable discussion will feature presentations from key experts in the field, whose different viewpoints should ensure a lively discussion.

More distortion of European policy and lobbying from the American company. What could possibly go wrong? It’s very simple for Microsoft to fool politicians, or as Tim put it the other day, “On Monday a site was launched with the backing of David Cameron for “helping” entrepreneurs with their Start-up…. Oh joy, you know this will be good.

“We’ve seen what happens when MP’s get involved in IT.”

The post title is “Why a start-up should avoid Microsoft? (MP+IT = #Fail)” and last night we received a link (via IRC) about Microsoft making moves that could potentially make India’s space program dependent on Microsoft (which tried to pass it off as some sort of “charity”, not lock-in). Be vigilant because as Groklaw’s Pamela Jones put it last night, “I understood that better when I read the Paul Allen excerpt from his book in Vanity Fair. The upper management [at Microsoft] are portrayed as ethically empty.”

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

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